nomi alterati part 2 grammar tip

Curious to learn more about Nomi Alterati Part 2?

Nomi Alterati Part 2 is a useful advanced grammar tip about a second group of these nouns. The first group is explained in Nomi alterati part 1, which is about diminutive and augmentative nouns.

In this new lesson we will go through endearment (vezzeggiativi) and pejorative nouns (dispregiativi): as we discussed before, in Italian we can modify nouns to give them a different meaning depending on what we mean to say.

Similarly to diminutive and augmentative nouns, we can modify a noun to express affection or disapproval. In order to do so, we add specific suffixes that can vary depending on the noun.

Here you have some examples!

Vezzeggiativi Meaning
Casa Casetta A little pretty house
Bocca Boccuccia A nice mouth
Aquila Aquilotto A lovely little eagle
Figlio Figliolo A dear son/a dear boy


Dispregiativi Meaning
Cane Cagnaccio A bad dog
Gente Gentaglia Bad people
Poeta Poetastro A poetaster
Avvocato Avvocaticchio A bad lawyer


As you can see, we use different suffixes to modify nouns, but careful: the choice among them is totally unpredictable, so we can’t use all the suffixes with all the nouns.

So, for example, we say “gentaglia” but not “genticchia” and this is ruled only by the use of the language. This is why practice is crucial: it’s the only way to distinguish between forms and choose the right one.

Do you have similar ways to modify nouns in your language? How does it work?

Try to make some examples and then look up on the dictionary to see if the form you made is correct!

If you want to study more Italian, our online resources are ideal. And you can also watch some lovely Italian video tutorials on Youtube, don’t miss them!


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